Public charter schools serve a diverse population of students, including many Hispanic students. In the 2020-2021 school year, 35% of all charter school students identified as Hispanic compared to only 27% of district students (Data Digest). Additionally, 15% of charter school teachers identify as Hispanic compared to 9% in district schools (NCES). In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, here are five charter schools named after Hispanic leaders who helped shape the world we live in today.
Delores Huerta International Academy Fontana, CA
Delores Herta International Academy, located in Fontana, California, is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World school that specializes in providing multilingual education to its students. The school offers its students a rigorous, internationally acclaimed education in a safe, creative working environment. The school is named after Delores Huerta, who is an American labor and civil rights activist. She co-founded the United Farm Workers Association and worked closely alongside Cesar Chavez.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Charter School Chicago, IL
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Charter School is in Chicago, IL. It is an arts academy offering college preparation courses and excellent dance, music, visual art, and theatre programs. This school is named after a writer, philosopher, poet, and composer in colonial Mexico, Juana de Asuaje y Ramírez de Santillana, more famously known as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.
Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C., the Carlos Rosario International Public School focuses on providing quality education to immigrant students. They offer a variety of programs, including English as a second language and civics to help student with the naturalization interview and test, as well as career certifications in fields such as nursing, technology, and culinary arts. The school’s namesake, Carlos Rosario, was a Puerto Rican activist who worked extensively in D.C. He founded the Latino Festival in D.C. and created the Program of English Instruction for Latin Americans, as well as serving as the executive director of the Spanish Community Advisory Committee.
Benito Juárez Community Academy Chicago, IL
Located in Chicago, Illinois, Benito Juárez Community Academy strives to create an environment where students and their needs come first. The school prides itself on creating an equitable and individualized learning experience for all its students. Benito Juárez is the former president of Mexico. He was the first indigenous president in Mexican history and the first indigenous head of state in the Americas post-colonialism.
Roberto Clemente Charter School Allentown, PA
Roberto Clemente Charter School is a Spanish-English dual education school in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In addition to their typical school day, this school offers early-college opportunities programs outside of school hours for students. Roberto Clemente is Puerto Rican and played on the Pittsburgh Pirates, mainly as a right-fielder for 18 seasons starting in 1955.
Naming schools after these Hispanic role models is just one way to honor their contributions to the country and culture. Students and families are encouraged to learn about their schools’ namesake and be inspired by their talents and perseverance.
These schools serve their communities with a high-quality education, carrying on the legacy of the iconic Hispanic leaders they are named after.
Bree Butler is the coordinator of media communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.